Saturday, April 30

small changes saturday v.2

I vaguely remember hearing something a few years ago about how clay based cat litter is unhealthy. At the time, I kind of brushed it off. Doesn't everyone use scented clay cat litter? Well, it must be fine then! After recently deciding to switch to cloth diapers, I thought why don't I do the same for our kitty? 

I bought a few cheap cloth diapers and cut a tail-sized hole... no, not really! I just did a little research on cat litter and after a very short period of consideration, chose to switch to... pine! 
 There aren't really any credible studies done on the health effects of clay litter, but there are plenty of anecdotal warnings. I read about how many people believe that cats and kittens may ingest too much litter from licking their paws and fur and have become ill or died. Breathing in the dust and fumes from the added scents may not be detrimental to their health as some claim, but it certainly doesn't seem a natural place for a kitty to do his business. I know I wouldn't like it, not to mention he smells awful after getting out of the box. 

I chose this over recycled newspaper or Feline Pine's original pellet litter because it is clumping and makes my life a bit easier. I always found changing the entire box to be unpleasant and would put off doing it until it became a horrendously smelling chore. The pine smells lovely and kitty seems to have no issues with the switch. His fur seems much cleaner and shinier now too. My next change was to switch his food.

We switched from Iams to Castor and Pollux Organix. Take a look at your pet's food nutritional label. Chances are, one of the first ingredients is corn, soy, by-products and other things that are definitely not naturally a part of a healthy, balanced diet. You can read all about it as well as product reviews here. Needless to say, since switching to a food with organic and natural ingredients, the kitty is even more thrilled about meal time. His "breffast" and "sup-sup" are highly anticipated and wolfed down much more enthusiastically than his old food. He seems much perkier recently, as well! 

We love our cat-baby - why should we consider his health and needs any less than our own? Granted, these products are more expensive but we feel it's worth it and we are able to make cuts elsewhere to afford him what we can. I feel really good about changing these things for him. Even if he doesn't live any longer for it, at least it makes him happy!!

IMG_0424 (914x1280)
I love his expression in this photo - he was helping me wrap Christmas presents! 

Friday, April 29

what I didn't know about disposable diapers

Unless you're into elimination communication, which is intriguing but a little too crunchy even for me, diapers are a necessity for babies and toddlers. I had seen many mentions online about cloth diapering but as most of us do, I discarded the idea almost immediately. I thought it must be a lot of work, messy and inconvenient. Well the truth is, many conveniences of our day are actually much less beneficial than we are conditioned to believe. 

When Iris was born, her tiny bottom was quickly packaged into a Pampers Newborn Swaddlers diaper. I dutifully changed her every two hours, not giving much thought to what was constantly wrapped against her brand new skin. Three months later, I started to discover what I didn't know about disposables.

IMG_0808 (2)
Iris in a disposable diaper.
The bleaching process during the manufacturing of disposables creates a byproduct called dioxin, which is listed by the EPA as the most toxic cancer causing chemical there is. It is banned in most countries, but not in the US. Some diapers may even contain trace amounts of the chemical. It can also cause reproductive and developmental problems, hormonal imbalances and more.

They contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) which is a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. 

Research published in the year 2000 shows that disposables increase the scrotal temperature of baby boys, and prolonged use can impact sperm production. In another study, rats were exposed to out of the package disposable diapers and reacted with eye and throat irritation and respiratory problems. 

Sodium polyacrylate was banned from use in tampons in 1985 due to its link to toxic shock syndrome. It is a gel like polymer which absorbs large amounts of liquid and creates an environment for toxin producing bacteria. It still exists in disposable diapers. If you've ever seen the crystal-like gel inside a disposable, that is sodium polyacrylate. No studies have been done to see the long term effects of this chemical existing against children's bottoms during the years they are in diapers.

This horrific list is my number one reason for switching to cloth diapers. Even when I switched to a "natural" brand of diapers thinking it would be better for Iris' health, I found little pieces of sodium polyacrylate gel sticking to my daughter's genitals while changing her. It truly disturbed me. 

There are also other impacts from disposable diapers ranging from your wallet to the health of our planet. However, in my mind and my life, it's most important to know that my sweet baby is no longer exposed to these toxic chemicals. It is simply one of the best parenting decisions I have made thus far.

IMG_1065 (853x1280)
Iris loves the fluff!
I would strongly encourage everyone to try cloth diapers! There are many different trial programs available online, which is how we chose the diapers that work best for us. They are better on every level; I wouldn't go back to disposables for anything! 

Coming up, posts about the types of cloth diapers available and how in the heck it all works! It's much easier than you imagine!

Thursday, April 28

dads can wear their babies too!

IMG_1113 (1280x838)

IMG_1115 (1280x811)

IMG_1120 (1280x853)

Carrier: ERGObaby

links I love

Way back in the days of my childhood, I knitted scarves and beaded jewelry profusely. These squirrel and oak mittens make me want to pick up arts and crafts again. I'd love to make matching pairs for myself and Iris to wear next winter!

I've been in love with this etsy shop for months now! The owner makes the sweetest headbands and hair clips for little girls. I've had it bookmarked for ages but still haven't bought one because I'm finding it impossible to pick just one! Maybe for Iris' birthday and Marius can choose!

What a cool idea!

Recently, I discovered Blowfish Shoes and fell in love. It's very rare for me to buy shoes, maybe twice a year at the most. I am coveting these Casita shoes to go with my summer dresses. Especially considering I've been wearing the same summer sandals for the last 3 years! If only I weren't so completely broke after a trip back to the northeast as well as investing in cloth diapers.

Speaking of cloth diapers, I would love love love to try this Rumparooz one size diaper. I recently purchased their wetbag for Iris' room in the EcoOwl print and it's great so far. A few people have interest in my cloth diapering excursion, so I'll be posting about it soon. 

Marius posted this link on facebook a few days ago. Such a sad story
So much for your gun control, UK. 

Iris has recently shown a love for her cloudB blanket with satin around the edges. It's a very heavy blanket and not really suitable for year round use, so I've had these Aden and Anais blankets 
in mind since I saw them in a children's store this past weekend. 

That's all for now! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, April 27

wordless wednesday.





on my lack of posting recently.

When I decided to start this blog a few months ago, I made a commitment to myself to post at least one thing a day. My skills in procrastination are very well established, so it was a way of holding myself accountable for that particular aspect of my personality. However, I also made a promise not to blog when I am feeling sad or excessively overwhelmed. I want this blog to be a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings, but I don't want it to become burdened with excess emotions that have not been resolved. I don't want to fill these pages with any whining or rants that haven't been fully established as sane and meaningful. 

The last week left me feeling very overwhelmed. Six months postpartum, I got my first period in over a year, which was totally unexpected and explains why my moods were swinging all over the place. I didn't feel like myself. I was wanting to burst into tears over commercials for god's sake. So that was fun, I don't think I bled enough after I gave birth anyway! (Please note that yes, that was an awful, horrible joke.)

Iris has also been going through some kind of growth spurt or teething pain that makes her wake up anywhere between 3-7 times every night. This has taken a serious toll on my mental and emotional health, which if you've had any experience, you know sleep deprivation will do. Her new mobility and self awareness, while fun and exciting, has been a big adjustment for me. 

I was unwilling or unable to ask Marius to help me around the house, and expected him to know that I needed it. I got angry and resentful that I felt I was doing everything to raise our baby and keep up the house. I was finally able to bring it up with him in a non-aggressive way, after great attempts to de-identify from my emotions. He truly is a wonderful husband who will do anything in his power to make me happy, so long as he knows what to do! We are so close and love each other so much, I sometimes forget that he can't read my mind. Since we talked about my concerns, as well as his, everything is worlds better. I feel a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, as I always do when I finally bring myself to speak up.

I had so much on my mind this past week but most of it was the problem of me getting in my own way. That seems to be where most problems stem from. We are so quick to blame the other people in our lives and the situations we are supposedly put in, we forget that our environments are reflections of ourselves. Every word we say or don't say, every smile we give or don't give, every gesture or recoil has a consequence. We create the world we live in, just as we create ourselves. 

I should be back to the regularly scheduled posting here. I really did miss this new little outlet I have! If you're reading this, take some time to think about how you affect your environment and yourself with your action or lack thereof. It's actually very empowering to realize that you are in control of how you experience your life.

Tuesday, April 19

the banana.

What in the world...?

This feels like dirty diap...


Monday, April 18

music monday.

These songs me give me such mixed emotions. I think they're beautiful.

Saturday, April 16

small changes saturday v.1

Last weekend while grocery shopping, I compared the price between two bottles of maple flavored syrup and was prompted to take a look at the labels. Here are the ingredients from one of them, pulled from the company website:
I decided right then and there that I would rather spend a little extra to buy real maple syrup. It tastes so much better and is so much better for you! Do you know what any of those above ingredients are? I recognize the corn syrups and water. High fructose corn syrup is a highly processed sweetener. If you read labels, you would be shocked to discover how many foods include HFCS today. I usually buy this maple flavored syrup because it's dirt cheap and reasonably delicious. We used to reserve the real stuff for holiday presents because of the higher expense, but I'd rather cut $4 from some other monthly expense than serve pure corn syrup to my dear husband and eventually sweet Iris.

Recently, a University of Rhode Island researcher discovered over two dozen new compounds found in pure maple syrup that are linked to human heath. The compounds are not only beneficial to health but may also lead scientists to discovering new cures for diseases. Now, I can enjoy my pancakes and feel great about them too!

And now for your enjoyment, a cat with a pancake. He enjoys them with syrup too.  

small changes saturday v.0

Welcome to the introduction of my first weekly feature! This is something I'm really excited about. I'll be writing about the small changes I make to our lifestyle and how they improve my family's health, i.e. bringing on my ever increasing crunchiness!

Since I started considering cloth diapers, I've thought a lot about some of the other changes I can make to improve the health of my family and the earth. All of us have seen commercials and documentaries about how humans are quickly destroying the natural resources of the earth, poisoning our oceans and sending hundreds of animal species into extinction. If you've read or watched anything about the food that we eat, you'd know how our meats are full of hormones which has been linked to early onset of menstruation in girls, how the animals we eat live in viciously abusive conditions during their short lives, processed foods are not real food, and more. Most of us watch in horror and think "I want to do something! I want to change!" We feel affected for a short time, but on the way to the gym we buy a bottle of water. At home, we eat vegetables sprayed with chemicals. We feed our children products inundated with dyes and processed sugar. The way we eat has changed, and not for the better.

I am absolutely guilty of the apathy most of America feels. So long as it's cheap, it tastes good and we get instant gratification - why should we care? I've thought, "well, this one bottle doesn't really matter or make a difference" or "chips-a-hoy is just so much easier, I don't feel like  homemade." We don't have to see the way our food gets there, so it's easy to ignore. We feel we aren't directly affected, so we forget about it. We exchange homemade goodness, purer ingredients and nutrition for convenience. It's the way we have always known things.

It's taken quite a few years, but these "it doesn't really matter" moments have collected in my mind, forming a mountain of unacknowledged truths I can no longer ignore. How much have I really impacted the environment in my short life? What damage have I done to my one precious body? Do I really have an excuse for this, considering how much I've been educated about it? I am tired of playing into this facet of our culture. The way we live is so ingrained in our psyches, it will be difficult and I'm sure I will make mistakes but I am committed to making small changes to make myself, my family and our earth healthier. I am willing to make sacrifices. I can play my small part and make a difference for myself, my loves and the future of this planet in the next 60 (hopefully a lot longer) or so years I have to live! I hope I can inspire you to do the same!

Thursday, April 14

hoot hoot!

Iris loves owls. Since we bought this Lamaze toy for her when she was a month old, her favorite image was the owl even though she couldn't grab him hard enough to make him squeak. She would stare at him in wonder, all but ignoring the other animals. Here she is around two months old, still in newborn sized clothes and enjoying tummy time on the boppy with her owl friend. 

This has inspired me to scour etsy for some adorable owl things for her. 
Here are some of my favorites!

Taking advantage of the fact that Marius has an hour for lunch every day this week, we decided to go to Hooters for lunch yesterday! Don't judge! The food is really yummy and they have a Wednesday wing special! I just had to get a picture of Iris with the Hooters owl. 

And we call her... Bonnet Baby. 

Wednesday, April 13

wordless wednesday.

IMG_0925 (2)

six months.

Picnik collage

Baby girl, you've learned so much in the last few weeks it's hard to take it all in. A month ago you were barely able to sit up without me holding you with both hands. Now, you are sitting all by yourself. You only topple over when you get too excited or reach out too far. You can even stand with all your weight on your feet if I hold your hands. You roll over by yourself now and look like you're ready to start crawling soon.

You love your new chair which hooks on to our table so you can eat with us as a family. You pass toys from one hand to the other and bang your measuring cups and wooden toys on the table. You recently learned that you can drop your toys to get me to come over to you while I make dinner.

You're still enamored with the kitty and open your mouth wide with excitement when you get to pet him. When Dada had his March Madness mustache, you reached out to pet it too. You watch us all very intently, always observing our actions. When you play, you make sure we are watching you and you smile with pride.

You've started saying mamama and dadada and lalala, among other things. Two little bottom teeth peek out every time you talk or smile. You're a very wiggly nursling now and you sometimes can't decide if you want milk or to look around. I love when you curl your little fingers into my hair when I pick you up or you're upset. Like when you were a newborn, you've stared laying on my chest to cuddle.

You're not interested in solid food yet unless it's from my plate, but you always seem interested in milks. You've discovered that you have a tongue and enjoy sticking it out to blow raspberries and bubbles. Dancing, bouncing and spinning around are some of your favorite things. 
You are growing more gentle and curious with each new day. 
We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 

10 things I've learned about being a mama.

1. Don't let anyone scare you about giving birth. I think as a result of our culture, media and our country's medical history, a lot of women have been deprived of understanding what birth is really about. The root of birth is beautiful, the pain is a primal view into our souls which is not to be feared but revered. Don't let talk of pain rob you of the amazing experience that birth is. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, it does. But pain is not all bad. We can learn and grow from it. Your labor and giving birth is not an emergency, it is the most natural thing on earth and your body knows how to do it, even if you don't. Subscribing to the line 'why would you have dental surgery without novocaine' is really selling yourself short.

2. Doctors are human too. They have opinions, biases, habits and personalities. These are all characteristics that vary widely in every person. Find a doctor or midwife who you connect with or feel comfortable with. Ask them questions - do they believe in a woman's ability to birth naturally? How do they feel about induction? Do they support and have accurate knowledge of breastfeeding? Do they routinely circumcise? It's important for you two to be on the same page. Remember, doctors have personal opinions. Their word is not god and you can disagree, you can seek a 'second opinion'. Once baby is born, the pediatrician's job is to check your child's health, not your parenting decisions.

3. Baby essentials are not essential. Most companies exist to make a profit, so their lists of baby essentials can be pretty extensive. All you really need are some diapers and a breast or two. Obviously that kind of lifestyle doesn't work for everyone, but it certainly does for people of lesser means throughout the world. Your arms, face and love is all your baby really needs. We decided to buy the very bare minimum and if we decided we couldn't live without something like a vibrating chair or wipe warmer then we would cave and buy it. Guess what? We didn't. I didn't even want a rocker, the couch we already own was just fine. Most of that stuff is really a waste of money.

4. Your baby will cry - it is normal. They cry because that is their only means of verbal communication. It does not mean that they are manipulating you. Babies don't have wants, they have needs. When those needs aren't met (or met quickly enough), they cry as an instinctual alert to the parent as if to say "hey, I am here and I need this to survive or feel comfortable!" Some babies don't cry as much and rely on body language or fussing to get their point across. Some have what is called colic and cry inconsolably and constantly. All you can do is your best to respond quickly and consistently, to let your baby know that you are there to take care of them. It is a big part of mutual trust and bonding in the beginning and will continue throughout your child's life.

5. Going along with number 4 - it is okay to get overwhelmed, frustrated and need a break. You as the caregiver need to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. Even if baby is crying, it is okay to put them down and eat lunch. Patience with your baby and the changes they will go through is important, but you also need to be patient with yourself. Realize that you are doing your best and be gentle to yourself.

6. Some of your choices will be questioned and you'll receive unsolicited advice. I've been given 30 year old advice from family, suggestions from acquaintances and reprimands from strangers in the supermarket. It's a take what you want and leave the rest sort of deal. You are the parent, you do what you know is best for your baby. Do your own research, don't take anyone's word for it. Just smile and nod, express your opinion if you think it's worth it and don't feel bad about telling those strangers in public or even the grandparents to back off.

7. You are allowed to feel sad or lonely. Even when you're with your baby or the rest of your family and friends. It's a lot of work to take care of a newborn or infant and sometimes it can make you feel cut off from the rest of the world. Tell someone how you feel, maybe another mother or your husband. Know that the feeling will pass, but will probably be back to visit occasionally.

8. Your body is a temple. This is something my mother used to say to me when I was a teenager but I could never relate to it until now. Our culture constantly stresses having a sculpted body, flawless skin and flowing hair. If you don't fit into this size 2 ideal, you are somehow less of a person and this intensifies after you have a baby. Women are taught to feel their bodies aren't good enough. We need to reclaim pregnancy, birth and motherhood as something natural and beautiful, no matter how it affects our skin and figure. Your body is a symbol of fertility and life. Remember, how you treat and speak about your body is setting an example. It's okay to feel insecure, but we don't need to hate our bodies. Remember what your body has accomplished and be proud!

9. Make time for your partner. There are a lot of things about motherhood that are unsexy - you may smell like spit up, have drool in your hair, be wearing clothes a day or two old... chances are, your partner doesn't really care. It's important to ensure that they still feel important, even if you're not able to go on dates or do the things you used to. Start a conversation about it, communication with them about how you're feeling is the best way to prevent any kind of resentment or frustration from building up. They can't read your mind to know that your hormones are crazy or you're overworked. Tell them if you need them to take baby for a little while so you can take an extra long shower or go for a walk, chances are they probably won't know to offer.

10. Be prepared to be a different person. Everything that you do or don't do, say or don't say has an effect on your child. Think about how you grew up. What were the great things and what would you have changed? Our own parents teach us through their mistakes and empower us with their successes. Your child will teach you too. They will bring out the best in you, and sometimes even the worst. You can't be perfect all the time even though you strive to be. And that's okay. The important thing is that you have self awareness.
"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity." - The Alchemist

Tuesday, April 12

just to clarify.

In regards to my post about Baby Led Weaning and all future parenting related thoughts - please remember that these are exactly that. My thoughts - my decisions - my personal beliefs which I feel very strongly about. If you disagree and/or choose to make choices that differ, it is unlikely that would judge you or allow that to affect whatever relationship we may have (except in a few particular circumstances). Though I may staunchly disagree, I will do my best to express my opinion and then hear yours out and we can discuss them like adults. Most of my thinking in relation to parenting is backed by many months of intensive research on all sides of the issues, so if you are looking to explore or question the ideas I put faith into, by all means I am willing to share my knowledge. However, if you take it upon yourself to disrespect or attack me, there will be a problem. Please note that I will not apologize for my beliefs if they offend you.

I hope to share in experiences as our daughter grows and am very interested in dialog with others about parenting and a multitude of other subjects.
Let's just remember something the Dali Lama has said in his list of 18 rules for living:
Follow the 3 R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others
Responsibility for all your actions.

Monday, April 11

our weekend and an update on baby.

On Saturday, the squadron had a get-together to celebrate springtime and the Easter season. These parties are almost always informal potluck lunches with lots of kids running amuck. We always look forward to specific people's cooking and the most raved about dish - buffalo chicken dip. There was no dip this time unfortunately, but it was a full and tasty meal nonetheless. We also took our first family photo in forever.

We spent the rest of the day at home relaxing. Well, everyone but me. Marius is somewhat crippled with Achilles tendon problems so I was running around the house like a chicken with my head cut off trying to clean the house, fold laundry, take care of him (when he lets me), the teething baby, wash dirty diapers, make dinner, etc. It seems that no matter how much I clean, it's always messy!

Sunday we went to brunch at Panera with two good friends of ours who recently PCSed here. The steak, egg and cheese sandwiches are good but not for the price. $20 for two sandwiches and two drinks. Quite ridiculous - I don't think we will be going there anymore. 

Later, Iris helped me in the kitchen.

7pm is her usual bath and bedtime. Recently, she has been fully sitting up in her little tub, splashing around and playing with her rubber ducky and other bath toys. She loves when we run water over her hands. She also loves our big fluffy towels. 

Today, she had her 6 month well-baby appointment. She is now 15.7 lbs! She got 3 shots but only cried for two minutes before she was fine again. Then she played with her band-aids and made the funniest faces when she discovered that their sticky backs would attach to her fingers. 

This should be a good week with Marius taking a class that allows him to come home for lunch. We so appreciate the time we get together as a family. Even the kitty is starting to warm up to Iris...
sort of. 

very first music monday!

We love Mumford and Sons.
I play these two songs over and over again during the day. 

Marius would kill me if I tried to do that while he's home! 
But at least little Iris doesn't mind!

"what's taters precious?"

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about feeding a baby? Did you think breast vs. bottle? Well, that's an entirely different debate. I am talking about Gerber. You know, those stacks of little jars you find in the 'baby aisle' of the grocery store labeled with that sweet, chubby cheeked child. Gerber was started in 1928 and became known to every person in America by their slogan "shouldn't your baby be a Gerber baby?" 

Their website says that they are "your trusted resource to help nurture your child's healthy development from pregnancy to preschool." Their line now consists of far more than just those little jars of pureed food. They have expanded to be a completely prepackaged diet, going so far as to sell water and create menus with their products for parents to follow.

Since when do parents trust everyone but themselves? This company preps the food, packages it and tells you when to feed your baby with it. Where are your decisions coming in? How much research have you done? Are you really going to trust that this massive corporation (owned by NestlĂ© , by the way) knows better than you do? 

One of my first revelations as a parent was that when it came to my baby, I trusted my own judgment implicitly. The jarred foods just did not feel right to me or my husband, never mind the expense! I'll admit the idea actually makes me gag a little. Why would I want to give my baby food from a jar when I could make it fresh myself? I considered getting a product like this to make it easy. But the more I thought about it, the term 'baby food' in general confuses me. Babies are humans too, aren't they? Would you eat pureed or smashed up food at every meal and be happy about it? I didn't think so. 

It was around this time I started considering other options and came across the term Baby Led Weaning. BLW is based on the premise that babies instinctively know when they are ready for solid food and are perfectly capable of teaching themselves how to eat, no pureeing required. Supervision is the first rule of BLW. Your baby should also be showing signs that she is ready for solids such as sitting up up unassisted, basic use of the pincer grasp, loss of the tongue thrust reflex, and interest in food. The idea is that babies are learning to chew before learning to swallow and are less likely to choke on their food. All babies will gag on their food, as their gag reflex is much further forward in their mouths than an adult but that does not mean that they are choking. It also promotes hand-eye coordination and goes hand in hand with baby's natural development.

As long as you are trained in CPR and the Heimlich (which you should know anyway) and baby is being supervised at all times, finger foods are offered to explore. Harder vegetables are steamed to make them easier to 'gum' and babies, who are instinctively exploring the world with their mouths, learn what food is and are free to figure it out themselves. They learn about texture, smell, taste and color on their own terms, without being pressured. If you are shocked by this, consider history. How did babies eat before What To Expect the First Year? Before food processors and blenders? Before Gerber? During Roman times? 

Iris had her 6 month birthday yesterday and Marius and I decided to celebrate with offering her some sweet potato. Rice cereal is not an option for us, as I believe it has little to no nutritional value and lacks flavor. We will instead be making our own oatmeal, which has far more texture, flavor and nutrition. She has been showing signs of readiness for a while, but we wanted to wait until she was around 6 months old, as per the recommendation of the World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics. 

This is how she reacted.

"What is this weird slimy thing?"
Lots of brow-furrowing ensued.

And pushing our hands away, which I'd never seen her do before.
As you can see, we even tried putting a bit of sweet potato on our fingers to show her the flavor, tried putting a bit into her mouth to give her the idea but she was not pleased. It turned into smashed potatoes and ended in a bout of crying. Obviously, she is not ready or had some serious personal problems with sweet taters! We will try again in a week, maybe with a small bowl of cooled oatmeal or a steamed broccoli floret. Until then, mama milk is still the favorite in this house!

Saturday, April 9

the songs remain the same.

This is how everyone should start their Saturday morning.
Courtesy of Representative Thaddeus G. McCotter, who referenced Led Zepplin throughout his speech on the House floor yesterday. 

Friday, April 8

soaking in the springtime.

The mister got off work a bit early, so we went on an adventure into the middle of nowhere, NC.

We listened to Andrew Wilkow on SiriusXM Patriot while baby blessedly slept away in the backseat.

We had lunch at The Pik n Pig, famous for its "butt rub"!

We got some Brunswick stew, hush puppies, potato salad, pulled pork sammiches and sweet tea.
It was all really tasty, if a bit plain.

The restaurant is literally right next to a small airfield. 
A few planes landed and took off again, which was fun to watch.

We watched the baby play contentedly and soaked in that springtime feeling. 

Iris really enjoyed being outside in the warm breeze.
She loved watching the dozens of huge bumblebees hovering and zooming around!

Then we went to an office store that also sells K cups.
Lots of K cups.

 We left with over 90 cups of all different flavors and roasts.
Though, this doesn't mean I can drink more than my two cup a day limit...

Afterwards, baby girl had some milk and a cuddle.
It was a really lovely, relaxing afternoon.